The Skipping Challenge: Four Friends Share their Inspiring Experience
(From top left to bottom right: Pelumi, Sekemi, Chiamaka, Ebele)
The Skipping Challenge guide
Happy new month! September usually signifies a start of new things - some people start school, some resume back at school, some go back to work, some return back to their base from a vacation etc. Whatever you are starting or returning to this September, we hope that you can make some space on your schedule for workouts. In today’s Hitting Homes Series story, four friends share how they did a 30-day skipping challenge for the month of June 2016. They started from hundred skips to a thousand! The Skipping Challenge was not only a bonding opportunity for the friends, it was a thorough fitness challenge and an affordable way to stay fit. You can skip in the comfort of your home instead of going to the gym (important for a busy month like September)! Engage Africa Foundation got comments from all four ladies (Pelumi, Sekemi, Ebele and Chiamaka) on their Skipping Challenge experience. Be inspired:
When I started my weight loss journey, I joined a fitness group and I was amazed to see people on my group skipping 2000 or more. My first time skipping, I could barely skip more than 30 at a time, but the motivation from my fitness group kept me going. During one of my chats with Ebele, I suggested we have a fitness challenge, we looked around and we agreed on the skipping challenge. One of the reasons I love skipping is because it can be done in the confine of your home. Sometimes you don’t need a skipping rope, just jumping on the spot would do. The skipping challenge and having friends to keep accountable kept me motivated and was a driving force at times when working was not something I wanted to do. The challenge has taught me that if I put my mind to doing something, I can achieve it, one step at a time.
The skipping rope challenge was introduced to us by my sister, Pelumi who has been working out to get back in shape. I was excited for this challenge because I always loved skipping and this felt like an opportunity to be healthy and also do what I love, at the same time. I was only worried because I was only used to doing few skips at a time but this was a challenge for me which I planned to succeed in. I was very happy for the team of women who encouraged each other and helped to build each other up. It was refreshing having others talk about their own personal struggles of laziness to do the skips which made me feel less alone in that struggle. I learnt a lot about perseverance and was able to do 200 skips at a time which I couldn't do before. It also helped me to stay healthy as I lost some pounds during the process. In all, the women on this team were inspirational and motivating and I would not have chosen any other women to share this success with.
The idea of the skipping challenge came from Pelumi who previously featured on the hitting home series. I had recently begun skipping at that point and even 30 skips were a big deal for me so the idea of doing hundreds was both scary and exciting. Having friends keep me accountable in living healthy provided that extra push beyond my comfort zone. I also learnt that when you start small and make incremental improvements, you will be surprised how far you can go. So my advice to others would be to have a support group to keep them accountable and to start small and increase their capacity incrementally. Thank you Sekemi, Chiamaka and Pelumi for doing the challenge with me.
When my friend, Pelumi sent a picture of the 30-day challenge guide, it seemed impossible to me that I could ever reach 1000 skips. Even 100 seemed to me, like it would be hard work! However, I took up the challenge after some hesitation and I started to enjoy it. The challenge was a good way to get fit because the guide is great for beginners! It was a realistic way to train skippers - by teaching them to take baby steps. From 100, to 125 then 150 etc, your body swiftly starts getting used to the routine. I eventually reached 1000 (though I was a day late). The challenge was also a good way to stay fit because you know you have to do your skips, since your friends will ensure to keep you accountable. I even found myself skipping in the hallway of a motel just to stay on track. Even now, after the challenge, I do 500 skips four times a week, on average. So, the Skipping challenge definitely had a lasting effect on me and I encourage others to try it out. My mum noticed that I lost some weight. I noticed too. A healthy reduction which I will attribute mainly to consistent skipping.
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About the author
Chiamaka Mogo is a Nigerian and the Manager of Engage Africa Foundation's Hitting Home Series. She is also a social justice advocate, blogger (http://blurredcreations.com) and Public Administration graduate from the University of Ottawa, Canada.